Over the last 15 years, I have not witnessed a noticeable change (for worse) and hope it will never come, despite the facts shared below. Monk seals and sea turtles still frequent the shoreline calling the Hawaiian paradise their home. Tropical fish surround the reefs without showing any fear of humans. And yes, the ocean continues to hum its song.
After days on the open Pacific waters the Hawaiian Monk Seal comes to rest on Poipu Beach on the south shore of Kaua`i.
Despite seemingly being unaffected by human presence, Hawaiian Monk Seal is endangered and their numbers have fallen over the last few decades as open shoreline is more and more at a premium. It is nice to see all of the volunteers though ready to help and to see that humans simply have to yield. When a monk seal enters the beach, an area around them is taped off in an effort to provide enough privacy for them to rest for their next fishing expedition.
Hawaiian Monk Seal is one of only two surviving monk seal species along with the Mediterranean Monk Seal. The Caribbean Monk Seal is extinct. Based on the NOAA Fisheries report
, the population has been declining by about 3.3% annually since 2003. References
: Hawaiian Monk Seal on National Geographic
- Hawaiian Monk Seal on NOAA Fisheries
- Hawaiian Monk Seal Stock Assessment by NOAA Fisheries